A break

Proud mother keeping a careful eye out in the dogs bathing pond, Parliament Hill Fields

Today’s guest picture shows a swan anxiously supervising her brood.  She is anxious no doubt because, as my sister Mary tells me, the cygnets are swimming in the dogs’ bathing pond on Parliament Hill Fields.

Proud mother keeping a careful eye out in the dogs bathing pond, Parliament Hill FieldsA dull and rainy morning here was brightened by the appearance of Sandy on a flying visit, followed by Dropscone bringing some quality scones for coffee time.  After coffee, I had to pay a visit to the Health Centre for a routine matter and by the time that I got back, the weather began to look a little brighter.

I took a couple of pictures in the gloomiest part of the morning for illustrative purposes only.  The first shows one of our infrequent greenfinch visitors…

greenfinch…and the second shows a robin who will probably not appear on a Christmas card.

ranting robin
For lovers of Robert Burns, I can point out that this is obviously the famous rantin’ Robin

The starlings show tenacity when it comes to getting food from inconvenient feeders.

starlingstarlingsOver lunchtime, I was able to watch a selection of visitors to the covered feeder.

blue titgreat titcoal titThe better weather let me walk round the garden.  The poppies had not recovered from the rain….

poppies and salvia…but the salvia shrugs it off.  The dahlias only need a short spell of warmth to bring out a good display.

dahliasTwo pink flowers have come to cheer us up.

nerines and Michaelmas daisies
A Nerine and tiny Michaelmas daisies

After lunch, the weather seemed to be set fair for a while, in spite of the weather forecast assuring us that there was heavy rain in the area so Mrs Tootlepedal and I took our courage and two umbrellas in our hands and set out to walk down the Esk to Skippers Bridge and back along the far bank.

Mrs Tootlepedal was acting as chief fungus spotter and she did a good job, seeing one crop on the way out and another on the way back.

Some of the white ones were as big as dinner plates

I kept an eye out for berries.

brambles and honeysuckle
Brambles and honeysuckle

The recent rain followed by warmer temperatures has perked up the brambles quite a bit.

Mostly though, I was looking for scenes that showed the river off to advantage.

Esk from Skippers Bridge
The Esk from Skippers Bridge, looking south
The distillery from the bank of the Esk
The distillery from the bank of the river below above the bridge
Looking across the river from the Dyehouse path

As we walked along the path back towards the town, we passed two foreign invaders.

A Russian vine and Japanese knotweed
A Russian vine and Japanese knotweed

The Russian vine is vigorous but controllable and is used here to help to disguise our sewage works,  The Japanese Knotweed is very vigorous and totally uncontrollable and is spreading along the river bank in spite of some efforts to keep it down.  You can see it in the river view above.  It upsets Mrs Tootlepedal to see its uncontrolled spread.

suspension bridge view
The view from the suspension bridge when we were almost home.

We timed our walk to perfection as it started to rain just as we got back to the house.  The rain didn’t last long though and by the time that we went to sing in our Langholm choir after tea, it was a beautiful evening.

Our choir practice was busy and hard work, as our new conductor doesn’t believe in easing us into a piece but charges in at full tilt, leaving us to follow behind as best we may.  Still, it’s fun even if we sing a lot of wrong notes. I needed a nice cup of tea and a snack to recover when I got home.

A traditional chaffinch is flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

20 thoughts on “A break

  1. Mrs T is right to be worried about that Japanese Knotweed! You have caught the robin in the act of being very bad-tempered. I like the first river photo very much.

  2. The views along the river were splendid, especially the one of the distillery!

    There’s some of the Japanese knotweed growing in one of nature preserve that I visit, they have been trying to kill it for years, but it not only comes back, it spreads further. I can see why Mrs. T would be upset to see it close to her garden.

    1. It’s on the other side of the river from us so it is not a direct threat to our garden. It will destroy the bank though if they can’t deal with it.

  3. We have lot of exotic vines and shrubs here that are often a struggle to control in our national parks and waterways. Lantana is one of them as well as boxthorn. It upsets me also to see our prolific they are.
    Thank you for the interesting fungi again. I always appreciate them. I wondered about the honeysuckle berries. Are they edible? I may have asked you before but my memory is not as good these days.
    The river shots are glorious and it’s always a pleasure to see your birds.

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